Today I wanted to look at who the top internet retailers are. By earnings in the last fiscal year, 2 of the top 10 are online flower e-tailers, 1-800-Flowers and FTD. QVC, HSN, QVC and Evine Live are TV retailers. We’ve seen a huge push by Amazon to dominate media, as they grow their original content and fanbase for PrimeTV. Are Amazon Shopping TV Amazon Flowers on the horizon?
Walmart keeps climbing in it’s push to dominate the market both online and in store. They are partnering with Handy to provide in home product setup services. Just as Ikea acquired Task Rabbit last year, Walmart is hoping to encourage buyers by making the entire process easier. Will Amazon use it’s own Services section to provide install to customers?
They are also deepening their partnership with with FedEx by bringing FedEx shops into 500 of its US stores. They will offer printing and delivery services as well as short term package storage so consumers can pick up there rather than having packages delivered directly. Walmart recently surveyed its customers and found that the services they wanted most, that weren’t already in stores, were packaging and shipping.
Walmart, Kroger and Target now all have easy pick up of groceries and in store items available in many locations bridging the online to store gap.
Target acquired Shipt last year and now just announced free two-day delivery from Target.com on hundreds of thousands of items. They are also aggressively pursuing private label, something they are already very good at, and introducing more than a dozen new exclusive brands by the end of 2018.
Is the marketplace has been watching what marketplace sellers such as Amazon and eBay have been up to and are emulating us. The question is, how can we pivot to continue providing needed customer services without directly competing with these behemoths for whom short term profit is not needed.
Walgreens took a surprisingly nimble jump into to contemporary marketing with a private label lesson for all of us. Team up with influencers! They recently joined with YouTube beauty enthusiast Judy Travis of It’s Judy Life and are releasing a line of cosmetic bags with her. This type of partnership is within the reach of many of us. Take your Amazon selling and product development experience and team up with an influencer!
The Trump administration may impose tariffs worth as much as $60 billion on Chinese products as early as this week to punish Beijing for what their saying is intellectual property theft from American businesses. Whether that is the true motive is up in the air. The exact size and makeup of the sanctions could still change. A trade war with China will impact the many small business private labelers who cannot afford to weather short term supply price increases. Many bipartisan trade organizations oppose tariffs. More domestic revenue is lost in jobs that use and sell those products than those that make them and they feel that a trade war will only hurt consumers and not China or meaningfully change IP theft practices. If you import or are planning to, pay extra attention to this developing story.
Even before online retailing behemoth Amazon builds its first Prime Air shipping hub at the Cincinnati Airport, it will begin an unprecedented collaboration with its future across-the-street neighbor, DHL. It is a major strategic partnership between two of the world’s largest logistics operations. Beginning in May, DHL will continue to run its Americas Hub at CVG at night while Amazon uses the facility and equipment during the day. This shows how Amazon is not only diversifying logistics with their own brand but partnering with DHL rather than putting all their eggs in the UPS basket. More competition means lower prices for merchants and consumers as the big guys battle this out
UPS diversifies and tries to serve merchants who sell cross platform with their launch of Marketplace Shipping to merchants. All orders can be consolidated, viewed and shipped from one place inside the UPS platform.
The death of toys mega giant Toys R Us has shocked many consumers. Was it Amazon or it’s own debt that killed it? Speculation is rampant about Amazon buying the retailer at a discount to essentially acquire their real estate. I just wonder if a buyout is necessary for that purpose?
In Amazon News…
Amazon hosted an invitation-only event on machine learning, automation, robotics and space exploration. While we were not invited we did enjoy this picture of Jeff Bezos walking his robot dog. As Amazon grows it’s clear that space and robotics are where Bezos sees the future headed.
Amazon continues to offer sellers a discount on selling new Grocery & Gourmet products. As the grocery marketplace heats up, Amazon wants to reward us for bringing new brands and ideas to their marketplace. Watch out though, as our popular vendors will be snapped up by Amazon if we don’t have rock solid agreements in place.
A Save The Date announcement went out about the second annual BOOST conference hosted by Amazon. There will be an evening reception on Jun 19th and a day long conference on the 20th in New Orleans. Stay tuned for registration details. This is one of the few events actually hosted by Amazon and is worth attending. As more marketplaces open up and Amazon is once again trying to court the right seller they do more outreach and education events. Attendees from last year said that there was really no earth shattering news but the connections and exposure were worth the trip.